The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today called upon the Civil Society, NGOs and Business houses to supplement government’s efforts in eliminating malnutrition in the country.Expressing concerns, the Vice President said that despite considerable progress made by the nation in various spheres in the past seven decades, malnutrition remains a major challenge. “It is sad state of affairs that that 35.7% of our children below 5 years of age are underweight and 38.4% are stunted,” he added.
Addressing the gathering after visiting Adamya Chetana in Bengaluru today, the Vice President pointed out that various studies have shown that nutritional status of children was strongly associated with their academic performance.“Lack of nutritious food may lead to poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity and increased infections,” he added.
Shri Naidu said that malnutrition perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty and affects the economic development. He asserted that immediate steps must be taken to avoid such scenarios for the healthy development of the children and the adolescents.Referring to the growing incidence of Non Communicable diseases due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy dietary habits, the Vice President called for creating awareness among youngsters on the need to avoid junk food and maintain physical fitness at all times.
The Vice President appreciated Adamya Chetana founded by late Shri Ananth Kumar and his spouse Smt. Tejaswini Ananth Kumar for providing food to around 1.5 lakh children from four of its kitchens located in Benguluru, Hubbali, Kalburgi and Jodhpur in Rajasthan daily.
Shri Naidu lauded the organisation for personifying age-old Indian values of Sharing and Caring. He stated that the POSHAN Abhiyaan or the National Nutrition Mission by the Government was playing a major role in improving nutrition indicators across India.
Earlier, the Vice President went around the campus and visited different facilities engaged in food preparation. He complimented the management, workers and volunteers for converting the Annapoorna kitchen into a zero garbage and fossil-fuel free kitchen.Shri Naidu said that the orgnaisation’s process of fulfilling its energy needs from biomass and solar energy was worthy of emulation by others.
In this context, Shri Naidu said that starting of Ananth Kumar Pratishthana to develop and mentor new leaders through a Leadership Institute in all fields was a welcome step and said that it would carry forward work on healthcare and green lifestyle, both areas in which Shri Ananth Kumar ji strongly believed.
On the occasion, Shri Naidu recalled his close association with former Union Minister, late Shri Ananth Kumar and said “I not only lost a dear friend in Shri Ananth Kumar, but our nation lost a true leader. It is imperative that we continue the ideals, values and work that he espoused,”
The Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri C. N. Ashwath Narayan, Shri Tejasvi Surya, MP, Bengaluru South, Managing Trustee and Chairperson of Adamya Chetana, Dr Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, and others associated with the organisation were present at the event.